Have you ever picked up a hobby only to put it down and forget all about it shortly after? Over ten years ago, I had a little dalliance with decoupage after I visited John Derian’s booth at the New York Gift Show and I thought, I can do that. But I never really did. I cut up some paper, splashed some Mod Podge around, but never really got into it. And, what I made wasn’t good. Truly, not good.
John Derian’s Decoupage
But, just because I put down the hobby didn’t mean that I wasn’t still enamored. John has a seasonal store in Provincetown in the basement of his house there (up the side street with its own entrance). Sadly, Mecca (aka the store) is never open when I’ve been there. It’s like the holy grail for me, or finding a unicorn. One year I went and it had closed for the season the day before. Once I was in town for dinner and it had close an hour earlier. I’ve stood at the door and peered longingly through the window. Wailing softly (just kidding, kinda sorta). As a matter of fact, I am taking a week off in a couple of weeks (RoyRoy is going into the kennel at his hospital to be well looked after), and I thought – Hey! Road trip! Newp, the only day I can do it, they are closed. Is it never to be?? (Wailing plaintively. Literally.)
Anyway, I still love all of John’s work, there is such an old-timey whimsey and humor to so many of his pieces. But, he’s not the only one I’ve found whose work I really like.
If you love John Derian as I do, you will love his Halloween Collection for Target.
Melinda Marye-Kelley Decoupage
Before I knew of John Derian’s work, I had written about the work of Melinda Marye-Kelley, a decoupage artist out of Texas. As a thank you for my post, Melinda sent me this lovely wastebasket, which I still have.
Marge-Kelley has lots of different decorative styles and products, including options for customization.
Jill Barnes-Dacey Decoupage
A new favorite is Jill Barnes-Dacey whose work is beautifully artistic.
Linda Merrill Decoupage !
I’ve had a long summer sticking to home as much as possible to help my RoyRoy recover from IVDD surgery and have been casting about for something to do with my hands. I used to have tons of hobbies – sewing, quilting, soap making, pillow making, photography, decoupage. And slowly, as life has gotten busy and work and blogging became more creative and time consuming on their own, my hobbies fell to the wayside. So, I decided to give decoupage another look. It’s not that hard to pick up – there’s not a lot of start up costs – unlike say pottery with the need for a wheel and kiln. Or photography with the need for an expensive camera. That said, I did immediately spend a couple of hundred bucks on paper and some glass pieces from various sources to test out. And I’ve been haunting the pick-up-and-drop-off at my transfer station and thrift shops for glass pieces and vases I can practice on.
My first attempt was unspeakably bad – I tried to decoupage a wooden dress hanger with tissue paper. Let us not speak of that mess again!
But moving on, I bought a couple of small glass baking dishes (about 6 x 6) at the local thrift store.
Above is looking down into it and below is the bottom and side. The decoupage is all on the outside, so the bowl itself could hold dry foods (nuts or chips) as it can’t be washed, but can be wiped. The bottom and sides have been covered in several coats of a thick varnish, so it can be wiped as well, but not submerged in water. It’s not perfect, as I’m testing different paper types. For instance, the bottom papers (green and harlequin) are rice paper which tear and bleed through very easily I discovered) and the top is a mix of different craft and wrapping papers.
And my next two projects are these small glass trays, about 4 x 6. The decoupage is on the bottom, but only needs to be one sided as the bottom is then painted, a coat of white, then black and then covered in a felt. The edges are painted with a gold leafing pen.
I’m going to give these trays to two of my girlfriends who have been so supportive this summer as I’ve been dealing with RoyRoy. (Hopefully they aren’t reading this post!).
And this is a vase I did in 2018, though this photo has been shot added in March 2020.
What are your hobbies? I’d love to hear!
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13 thoughts on “Weekend Warrior: Decoupage, my newly revived obsession”
A lovely and rewarding pastime. The dragonfly tray, in particular, is stunning!
Thanks so much Riva!
Beautiful work Linda! You do have my address, right? (winkety wink). I once had a paper or chipboard-type small desk “bucket” that was decoupaged. Not sure if it was for mail. I got it from an estate sale and I thought it was so old and pretty but now I don’t know what happened it to it. Hhmmm, I’ll have to search for it. Happy new week.
Thanks Mary Beth – happy new week to you as well!
Linda, I studied with Jill Barnes Dacey in NYC in 2017; she is truly an incredible and inspiring teacher. You will be interested in the artistic works of Virginia Tatlioglu and Viveca Moller, both of whom have studied with Jill. Virginia is also a gifted artist and teacher. Viveca has an outstanding description of her art on youtube. Hope you are enjoying your new passion!!
Hi Alma – thanks so much for commenting! I’m familiar with Viveca Moller – I saw her video on YouTube and actually picked up some great technique tips just watching her work. I’ll check out Virginia as I don’t think I’ve heard of her. It’s a fun hobby. I put everything away at Christmas, but have to get back to it soon! Thanks!
Ah, I had heard of Virginia Tatlioglu, I’d seen her website which is just called Virginia. I didn’t realize it was the same person. Wonderful work!
Your site and work is beautiful. I know Moeller and Barnes Dacey and decoupage is my first love. But I live in PA and can’t find decent wrapping paper, rice or mulberry. Where does one find these glorious papers to use? If there are websites, I’d be grateful!
Hi Debbie – thanks so much! I’ve got to get back to it again. I bought some papers (rice paper specifically) from someone on Etsy, which is a good source in general for different papers. I’ve used regular wrapping paper and also ordered wrapping paper from Spoon Flower because there are lots of unusual patterns and designs. Good luck!
Linda, Jill is offering a Free class this week, teaching from Berlin. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
I love your work! For years I’ve been trying to find smooth glass dishes without a bottom rim. Bowls as well. Can you tell me how to find them or where?
Hi Leslie – apologies for the slow response! Behrenberg Glass has some great options. https://www.behrenbergglass.com
The glass Blanda Ikea bowl works well. The Moderna Bowl and plate by Crate and Barrel are also a good choices.